Heavy downpour causes traffic jams
By: Kalbe Ali
ISLAMABAD: Massive bottlenecks were witnessed at Faizabad as water accumulated under the flyover, creating traffic jams for vehicles moving towards Muree road from Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
A similar situation was observed at the airport road after the twin-cities received heavy rainfall Friday morning in a large area.
Since only one vehicle could pass through the accumulated water, while moving from Rawalpindi towards Rawal Dam and it was even more difficult for all kinds of cars to go towards Zero Point by passing through the large pond established underneath the bridge. The traffic line was so long that it crossed Shamsabad, as the vehicles moved forward at a snails pace.
According to the Met Office, Islamabad had 45 millimetres (mm) downpour, while Rawalpindi received 61mm of rainfall. However the rains were negligible beyond Chandni Chowk in Rawalpindi city.
Though delayed and far less compared to the routine rainfall in monsoon season due to the El Nino effect but the rains in the past one month have helped improve water level not only at the reservoirs but also charged the underground water level.
Due to the impact of El Nino the water level is the lowest at Khanpur Lake, Rawal Lake and the Simly Lake – compared to the levels during past five years.
However, significant improvements have been noted in the past one month at these lakes due to recent rains in the hills of Murree and Hazara which are the catchments for these dams.
Compared to July 25, 2012, when the water level at Rawal Lake was 1,731 feet; it has reached more than 1,739 feet by Friday evening and was continuously improving; however it was at the maximum level of 1,750 feet on August 24, 2011.
Similarly, the water level has slightly improved at Khanpur Dam situated in district Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), but located close to the federal capital. Water level at Khanpur Lake increased by around 10 feet in one month to reach 1,927 feet, but it was just 17 feet above the dead level of 1,910 feet, while its maximum level is 1,982 feet.
“Comparing previous data, the situation is not good as on August 24 in 2011 and in 2010 we were at 1,976 feet level that is close to the maximum limit,” said an official posted at the dam, adding, “But last month has been encouraging, we need spells of more than 50 mm to reach a good storage level,”
However, the situation was slightly better at the Simly Lake due to higher rainfall in Murree and Patriata area during the past one month as the water level has increased by 27 feet to reach 2,272 feet level, but like other reservoirs it was far less than the water available in previous years, as it was 2,291.60 feet on August 24, 2011.
The upper limit at Simly Dam is 2,315 feet maximum level and the CDA official posted at Simly Dam expressed hope with more rains expected in coming days; the water level would further improve in the coming days.
“But it is less likely to reach the upper limit this year,” the official added.